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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Horror Rock
Horror Rock
Sub Rosa // Unrated // April 1, 2008
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted June 28, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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I figured I'd go ahead and take this opportunity to help proofread the marketing blurb from the back cover of Horror Rock, another stellar entry in SRS Cinema's "hey, let's raid John Russo's VHS collection and charge thirty bucks a pop" collection.

"Horror Rock" combines terrifying, heart stopping scenes from the most spine-tingling horror films ever made with some of the hottest classic indie rock music performed by the absolutely wickedest bands!

This sizzling collection explodes with searing renditions from such cult classic bands like Del-Lords, Judas Kiss, Hurricane, Over the Edge, Wrath, Children of the Wicked, Pandoras, Run Down Love Battery, Dickies, Booby Trap, Elvis Hitler, and Hot Rod to Hell.

If you like your music from beyond the edge, "Horror Rock" will deliver devilish pleasure to your ears as highlights from your favorite horror films make your blood run cold! Get ready for the rock & roll ride of your life as "Horror Rock" burns a hole in your soul!
Okay, you get the general idea -- music from a bunch of punk and metal bands set to scenes from a big stack of horror flicks, right? Well...not so much. First off, Horror Rock only bothers with footage from a handful of movies: Night of the Living Dead, The Majorettes, and Heartstopper are the only ones mentioned in the credits. "The most spine-tingling horror films ever made"? Really? Even then, only some of the gut-munching from Night... and stalk-'n-slash from The Majorettes pass for horror. There's more footage of rollercoasters and spinning teacup rides from a county fair than anything bearing a passing resembling to horror, mixed in with "...the hell?" snippets like a B&W art flick with a dwarf flailing his arms around in an oversized coat, dance numbers in a biker bar and in the middle of some random forest, and a shitty framing story with a woman putting on makeup for way too long, whipping out a set of dime-store vampire teeth, and chomping on some schlub who winds up on the side of the road dolled up as a low-rent zombie. Only a half-assed effort has been made to try to match the imagery with the music -- during the "does it snow in Transylvania?" line in The Dickies' "Booby Trap", there's a shot of a snowy campfire, f'r instance -- but a lot of the time, it's just random shots or long, drawn-out, agonizingly dull scenes from the same few horror movies. Hell, The Pandoras just get a straight-up music video with no attempt at horror at all, and that's better than anything else on the disc.

The packaging lists twelve bands, but whoever wrote the copy clearly never bothered to watch Horror Rock, mistaking song titles for actual performers and inexplicably claiming that they were all recorded live. There are seven bands featured throughout the 39 minute video, and the music runs the gamut from quirk-pop to crotch-rock to jangly indie to punk to metal.
  1. Hurricane - Over the Edge
  2. Wrath - Children of the Wicked
  3. The Pandoras - Run Down Love Battery
  4. The Dickies - Booby Trap
  5. Elvis Hitler - Hot Rod to Hell
  6. The Del-Lords - Judas Kiss
  7. N.M.E. - Heartstopper
While the bands are pretty much okay across the board, everything else about Horror Rock is unredeemably awful: the grating, bassy voiceover, the I-did-this-on-an-Amiga-in-1983 text inserts about the horror of Uncle Tonoose (?), the clumsy editing and piss-poor selection of horror flicks... Skip It.

Video / Audio: Pasty colors, excessive tape hiss...yup, Horror Rock is another pre-recorded VHS dumped onto a shiny five-inch disc.

Extras: The flipside of the case lists "bonus features" like an uncut film, full-motion menus, and trailers. Nope. The DVD consists of absolutely nothing but the 39 minute set of videos. There's not even an actual menu: just a tiny bit of white text against a static black screen.

Conclusion: I wouldn't have bothered grabbing Horror Rock out of the $3 bin at Camelot Music when it was first released all the way back in 1989, but for a 39 minute DVD this shitty with a $29.99 sticker price...? Skip It.
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